Shop Item of the Week - ‘Black Duck’ by Lesley Nimmo

For Shop Item of the Week, we bring you another fine original artwork - this time by Lesley Nimmo. Lesley's 'Black Duck, an acrylic on paper piece, is another example of her unique style of painting, with the use of blocks of shape and colour to make up familiar images. Lesley's work is very popular in our studios and shop, and this example can be yours for £50. Buy online now! 

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Artwork of the week- ‘Artists in Conversation 3’ by Tanya Raabe-Webber

       Artwork of the week is this delicately drawn iPad creation by Tanya Raabe-Webber. Working on the iPad is still a relatively new medium for Tanya, who is more accustmed to acrylics, oils, inks and canvas. 'Artists in Conversation 3' is one of a series of 5 iPad drawings in our current exhibition #SummitPortrayed. Last week Tanya led five workshops in our gallery with school children from across Glasgow, Paisley and Kirkintilloch. Each were given an easel, canvas, brushes and paint - they were then asked to paint portraits of each other. Tanya also had them trying out the iPads to make their own digital portraits. These painted and digital portraits will make up our next exhibition!

       The feel these iPad drawings give is one of a very light touch and clean appearance. Printed out on quality artist's paper; these five drawings force the viewer to think twice about what medium was used. They look a little like pen or pencil, but something about them tells you neither of those have touched the paper. They juxtapose the rest of the exhibition which is very visceral and painterly, giving the whole show a wide ranging feel of mediums and techniques. The exhibition finishes at 5pm on Saturday, so if you haven't seen it yet you still have time.

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Shop Item of the Week - Hand Painted Canvas Bag

What better way to carry around one's shopping than in a unique hand painted canvas bag? This fine mobile artwork would be a real talking point when out and about, and was painted by Aspire artist Steven Reilly.  At only £30, why not bag yourself a bargain? Available in our gallery shop, or online

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Artwork of the week - ‘Conor by Craig’


Artwork of the week features one of the many superb portraits being created in our gallery. Acclaimed portrait artist Tanya Raabe-Webber has been giving master classes in portraiture to young people every day this week, with tomorrow being the final day. 'Conor by Craig' was painted today and definitely has the school feeling. In a white shirt and tie, Conor is stood in front of his own canvas, painting Craig. All of the portraits created this week under the skillful expertise and teaching of Tanya will be on exhibit in our main gallery at Project Ability from March 10 - 24. Whilst these master classes are going on, the gallery is still open as usual! Come by to see our current exhibition, #SummitPortrayed, and check out the young artists at work. More news on this to follow! 

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Walking Group Week 2 - Glasgow Green and the People’s Palace

There are many great places to visit that are a short walk away from our base in Trongate 103. 

One of these is The People's Palace at Glasgow Green. Our walking group took a stroll there last week to visit the museum and the winter gardens.

While they were there they had a look at the exhibition of drawings by Billy Connolly.

Not everyone had been inside the building before so a bit of time was given to looking at some of the other exhibits as well. It was cold outside but the winter gardens was a great place to get warmed up before heading back out for a walk through the park and back to base.

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Shop Item of the Week - ‘The Fruit of my Labour’ by Jonathan McKinstry

Jonathan McKinstry's fine painting 'The Fruit of my Labour' has been chosen for Shop Item of the Week. Jonathan's style is instantly recognisable for those lucky enough to have seen it before, and this is yet another of a long line of excellent works created by him in our studios. It can be yours for the sum of £80, either online or from our gallery shop.

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Artwork of the week - ‘Pakistani Chairlift’ by Rehan Yousuf


'Pakistani Chairlift' by Rehan Yousuf is our chosen artwork of the week. This mixed media painting on canvas is a grand size - 120 x 150 cm. As with all of Rehan's paintings, it is colourful, abstract and expressive. Rehan Yousuf has been working at Project Ability for several years and very often his work is of this impressive scale. They are powerful and playful representations of a life abstracted. 

Rehan takes inspiration from all aspects of his life. 'Pakistani Chairlift' was created in 2015 in our Aspire workshops, and is just one of many large colourful abstracts he has created since he began working with us. This chairlift looks a little like the one in this photograph, in the Pakistani province of Punjab. We can begin to see all of the different coloured carriages and people traveling up (and down) the mountain.  Confident, bold and gestural are the characteristics easily attributed to his work. You can see more of Rehan's wonderful paintings here

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Shop Item of the Week - Aprons by Lindsay Black

Shop Item of the Week time again, and today we bring you a couple of rather stylish aprons created by ReConnect artist Lindsay Black. Available in our gallery shop - or online - for just £25, these unique, handmade items would be an excellent gift for any creative sort who likes to make a bit of a mess. These are sure to be sold out quickly, so come on down for a peek! 

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Artwork of the week- ‘Stephanie Laird’ by Tanya Raabe-Webber

This week we bring you this gloriously bright and colourful portrait in pen and ink by acclaimed artist Tanya Raabe-Webber. Tanya's portraits, from her time as artist in residence here at Project Ability, tell a story of character and artistry. All of the portraits hanging on the walls at Project Abiltiy gallery come straight out of the International Summit, which we hosted last year, for artists across the globe working in supported studios.

Stephanie Laird  stands out from the crowd in her canary yellow jumper and turquoise eyes. Her cotton pinny tells us she is one of the artists at the Summit, and clearly she has been painted whilst in the middle of creating her own work of art!

This portrait of Stephanie can be seen, along with the many others on exhibition as part of the #SummitPortrayed exhibition, in our Trongate 103 gallery until Saturday March 5th. 

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Steven Reilly’s story - Donate now

Aspire artist Steven Reilly has accessed Project Ability to develop his artistic practice since 1991.

He is a talented painter, has a vivid imagination and particularly enjoys painting sports people and monsters, and especially likes to produce work on a gargantuan scale. He is funny, kind and usually at the centre of the joke!

Steven loves to travel and is a regular contributor to exhibitions, workshops and conferences in the UK and overseas: he has been to Ireland, Sweden, Holland, Norway, Russia and Germany and the Czech Republic. He readily offers to give a hand and enjoys assisting the tutors deliver art workshops out and about to lots of different groups across the country.

He is a trusted volunteer and you will find him invigilating in the gallery every Thursday afternoon.

Your donations help us keep the studio open and deliver a programme of creative activity for Steven and his friends.  Thank you.

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Launch of the ReSearch Residency programme

At the end of 2015, we advertised for a new opportunity for Glasgow-based artists: our ReSearch Residency programme, and are now delighted to announce that we have picked seven talented artists for the first half of 2016.

Artists in residence will have access to our accessible studio and fantastic workshop facilities Monday to Friday, 9 – 5pm for a calendar month; ceramic studio, glass studio, print studio, wood shop and digital studio and the opportunity to work alongside artists who attend Project Ability’s studio programme for people with learning disabilities, people with lived experience of mental ill health and children and young people with disabilities while gaining knowledge of workshop delivery from our team of highly experienced tutors. 

The residency is an opportunity to cultivate new ideas through research and production and to access and explore an inclusive arts environment.

The first artist in residence, Joanna Peace, started on February 1st. Each artist will document their work and their experience in our studios via a newly launched instagram account: @PA_Research_Residency.

The following artists taking part in the residency programme will be:

Jen Bradley - March
David Roeder - April
Florence Dwyer - May
Scott Lang - May
Shireen Taylor - June
Ailsa Sutcliffe - July

We very much look forward to seeing what these residencies will produce! We will be advertising for the next series of residencies in the summer.

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On the Road: Perth

On January 27th the ‘No. 3’ One Stop Shop in Perth invited PA artist Jonathan McKinstry and I to deliver clay modelling workshops to some of their service users who had braved the stormy weather to attend the Centre that day.

We proposed to make clay heads with the group and started off with quite a formulaic approach. A cylinder of clay was rolled for a neck, then tapered into a cone and sliced on the diagonal so that an oval head shape could perch on top. Eye sockets were scooped out with wire tools, then eye balls were rolled and inserted back into the hollows... and so it went on.

What started out as very general shapes soon became quite specific and unique forms. It was great to see some people, who at the outset were not convinced they could really achieve much with this medium, become so engrossed in their work and produce pieces so full of character. Even Jonathan, who has recently been more at home with large expressive painterly canvases, was finding this a great channel for his interest in homespun cartoon characters.

By the end of the sessions we had an array of clay heads all projecting very different personalities including a jazzy looking dude with a goaty beard, ladies with amazing bone structure and pony tails and curly frizzy locks of hair, a Mohican with pointed Vulcan ears, an orang-utang-like fellow with top hat and rudely protruding tongue and even a true to life portrait study of a member of staff from the One Stop Shop.

Thankfully all the artworks survived the long journey back to Project Ability in Glasgow where they are now awaiting firing. I look forward to reuniting the artists with their finished artworks when we meet next month to explore a different medium.
-Meredith Crone, tutor

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Walking Group Week 1 - the murals trail

Last Wednesday was the first outing of 2016 for our walking group. The rain was lashing down all morning but when the time approached to go out the clouds parted and the sun poured through.

The walk was part of the Glasgow city centre mural trail, and visited about half of the murals that are listed as part of the route which can be found at


There is also a colour booklet with maps and photographs available from Glasgow City Council.

Along the way the group popped into the Gallery of Modern Art to have a look at 'Devil's in the Making: Glasgow School of Art and the Collection'; the current show in the main exhibition area.

If you don't feel like doing the walk yourself you can have a whirlwind tour of many of the murals and meet some of the artists at

More photos on our Facebook Page. 

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Pop by to the Thursday Night Social

Our new art and social drop-in club, the Thursday Night Social, will start on the 18th February, 6.30pm-8pm.

Thanks to some funding from the Autism Innovation and Improvement Fund, we have set up this new weekly event for adults and young people over 18yrs old. No need to book, just drop in and pay at the door: £5 per session.

Whether you want to make art, learn new techniques or just have a chat with other artists, the Thursday Night Social is the place to be! We will also regularly organise outings to the cinema, concerts, etc. 

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We need your vote!

We are delighted to announce that we are one of the four organisations shortlisted for the Johnstone’s Trade Community Spirit competition! We now need your votes in order to win a redecoration makeover of our facility worth up to £10,000, so please, spread the news far and wide! 

Our Director Elisabeth Gibson said: "We are very proud of our charity and to be shortlisted for the Johnstone’s Paint Community Spirit competition is fantastic for us. We all enjoy making a real difference to lives through art and our students of all ages get so much out of it. We are in relatively new premises but, with the volume of people coming through the doors each week, it is susceptible to wear and tear. It’s looking tired and drab but it’s a place that means so much to people that it would be a huge boost if we could benefit from the redecoration."

To vote for us, please got to

Read the Press Release below:

A Glasgow charity which helps people with disabilities and mental health issues achieve their artistic potential is hoping to paint a brighter future after reaching the final of a UK-wide competition.

Project Ability is one of four charities or community groups to make it to the final of the Johnstone’s Trade Community Spirit competition. Based on Trongate in the centre of Glasgow, Project Ability is now hoping to come out on top in a public vote to win a redecoration makeover of its facility worth up to £10,000.

Well over 100 charities and community projects from across the UK submitted applications to the competition, run by the leading paint manufacturer Johnstone’s Trade. A judging panel selected the final shortlist of four based on criteria such as the impact the project has on the community and the urgency for redecoration.
Project Ability has served the community for more than 30 years and provides artistic support and learning opportunities to three groups – adults with learning disabilities, adults with experience of mental ill health and children with disabilities.

More than 300 people, aged from five to 80-plus, visit the centre each week to hone their skills in numerous visual arts disciplines including painting and drawing, ceramics, woodwork and printmaking with work displayed in their public gallery.

Elisabeth Gibson, artistic director of Project Ability, said: “We are very proud of our charity and to be shortlisted for the Johnstone’s Paint Community Spirit competition is fantastic for us. We all enjoy making a real difference to lives through art and our students of all ages get so much out of it.
“We are in relatively new premises but, with the volume of people coming through the doors each week, it is susceptible to wear and tear. It’s looking tired and drab but it’s a place that means so much to people that it would be a huge boost if we could benefit from the redecoration.”

Project’s Ability’s quest to win the Johnstone’s Trade Community Spirit has been picked by Partick Thistle Football Club. Thistle winger Declan McDaid attended Project Ability and said: “I would urge everyone to vote for Project Ability. It would be fantastic if a Glasgow project could win the Johnstone’s Trade Community Spirit and it would be of huge benefit to a charity which does so much great work in the city.”

Other shortlisted community projects come from Greenwich, Rotherham and Nottingham.

Richard Mazurkiewicz, marketing manager for Johnstone’s Trade, said: “We had a high number of fantastic entries and there were so many worthwhile projects that it made the shortlisting process extremely difficult.
“However, Project Ability and the three other projects in the final all do fantastic work and would all be very worthwhile winners. To win a redecoration makeover will make a huge difference to the winner and we are proud to be making a real impact.”

To vote for Project Ability, please visit before February 29.

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